MSNBC’s Jen Psaki talks about ‘less evil’ alternatives during focus on possible DeSantis 2024 run

Demonizing Republicans may be par for the course, especially for President Joe Biden’s former White House press secretary, but Jen Psaki seemingly dropped the veil on MSNBC with a passing remark on “evil” Democrats.

(Video: MSNBC)

The unexpected concession came as part of a discussion in the first hour of Thursday’s edition of “Morning Joe” on potential Republican candidates for the 2024 presidential election. Reflecting on a piece from The Atlantic’s Mark Leibovich about leftist culture war bane Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), co-host Mika Brzezinski posited that there were “good options” from the right that would ultimately satisfy progressive ends.

“But there are some good options, Jen. I mean, aren’t we waiting to hear whether or not [outgoing Maryland Governor] Larry Hogan will run?” Brzezinski asked. “I mean, I don’t know. I mean, it seems like the Republican Party has an opportunity to really turn a new leaf.”

To that, Psaki began with a typical tear against conservatives, “Well, that’s making the assumption, which I think that they want to, is that they want to pick a sane-ish candidate.”

As the former press secretary continued, the co-host interrupted evidently amused at the notion and exclaimed, “A Republican!”

It was then that Psaki casually admitted, “Yeah, it reminded me of, in a different way, ‘cuz less evil, but Democrats have done this before, too, where you kind of–they find a candidate that they project all of their hopes, dreams and positions on.”

The implication, of course, was that Florida’s governor was evil or, as Leibovich had put it, “an outsider irritant.” “He is terrorizing all the right targets while [former President Donald] Trump keeps blowing himself up in new and creative ways,” he wrote. “‘He is Trump with a brain,’ goest the whispered refrain among DeSantis aides (this clearly drives Trump nuts–always a noble goal).”

However, it was wholly unexpected for Psaki to include a shot against Democrats in her remarks that she herself moved on from without skipping a beat by likening Republican’s perspective on DeSantis to washouts from previous Democratic presidential primaries, “This person is the next person: Wesley Clark; Howard Schultz; Mike Bloomberg. And they are like paper tigers because they look good on paper and then they start to go out and do the dating apps in Iowa and New Hampshire. And people–

“It’s harder than it looks,” Brzezinski chirped.

“It’s much harder. [President] Barack Obama used to say, you know, when you campaign, they lift it, they lift the hood, they kick the tires. When they do that, they discover things about candidates. Do they have charisma? What do they actually stand for? Are they fighting for me? Are they weird or they have a glass jaw?” Psaki concluded on that point.

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Kevin Haggerty

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